Water is one of the basic elements of our lives. Not only because drinking water is needed to drink, but because it is necessary for any area of our lives. Suppose needed to feed animals, to water fields or to be used as energy. Hence it mustn’t be contaminated, a problem caused by various factors that can bring disastrous consequences. Here’s what we’re talking about water pollution next.
What is Water Pollution
Although the water that is present in our lives, such as the one coming out of the tap, for example, seems to be free of allergens, viruses or bacteria, the truth is that it is not. Most of the time, when we drink a glass of drinking water, we may be ingesting water that’s not as clean as it looks. Water pollution is an endemic evil that costs a lot to eradicate.
It is not that great water pollution is reached in large cities, but it runs with more impurities. And yes, there are cases of contaminated water in nearby areas, for example, in some industries.
We cannot say that there is only one cause of why water pollution occurs. In fact, they are produced from various sources, as listed below.
- Thermal pollution: water is heated and contaminated from thermal power plants
- Radioactive contamination: due to nuclear radioisotope facilities
SOURCE OF ORGANIC MATTER
- Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins: coming from private, agricultural and agri-food effluents
- Ammonia, nitrates: it comes from what is used in farms and fish farms
- Fertilizer NO3, PO4: agriculture, laundry
- Metals and metalloids: industries, agriculture, acid rain
- Pesticides: agriculture, industries…
- Organochlorinated solvents: industries
- Organic compounds: industries
- Surfactants: domestic effluents
- Hydrocarbons: oil industry, transport
- Urban effluents
- Cattle effluents
EFFECTS OF URBANIZATION ON WATER QUALITY
The effects of urbanization on water quality are remarkable. It is not a pollutant in itself, but urbanization has indirect impacts on water quality. For example, large-surface concreting promotes acceleration of flows and does not allow water infiltration time or opportunity to be purified by soil. This concrete flatters water flooding due to the acceleration of flows.
Another significant impact of urbanization on water quality and aquatic environments is the change in the environment. This is particularly serious when it comes to riverbanks or lakes, or sea coasts.
Obviously, in urban areas such as pollution(sewers, animal carcasses and sometimes humans), this can take dramatic proportions if factories are flooded (storage of toxic products). Many of these disasters would be avoided if planning measures were taken to prevent water from being contaminated due to its effects.
WATER POLLUTION: THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURE AND AQUACULTURE
Globally, agriculture accounts for 70% of water resources, so climate-friendly crops are essential. Efficient irrigation reduces the need for water so that what is already suffered today does not end up being suffered: fertility problems in the face of a pure absence of irrigation.
Agricultural pollution is due to two main factors:
- Chemicals – Fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, cattle with excrement, manure…
- Methane – Greenhouse Effect
Fertilizers, nitrates and phosphates contribute to the dystrofization (algae proliferation) of inland and coastal waters. The economic consequences (impact on tourism, fish farming, mollusc breeding…) add to environmental and ecological damage.
As for aquaculture and its direct contamination in water, we can say that it is produced due to surplus foods and fertilizers that are used, for example, to raise fish (such as salmon in Norway), molluscs (oysters and mussels, for example) and aquatic plants (algae, aquatic plants).
It is practised from parenting (fattening in the wild) or wild (sampling and fattening) and involves all life cycle stages. The decline of wild populations and the demand for fish as a protein source favour the aquaculture sector, but it produces food waste that ultimately also pollutes water.
CONSEQUENCES OF WATER POLLUTION
After all the above, we can conclude that water pollution can bring terrible consequences for humans, like animals or the planet.
The effects can be catastrophic, depending on the type of chemicals, the concentrations of contaminants and where there is contamination. Thus, the effects of water contamination depend on which chemicals are discharged and in which locations.
Many bodies of water near urban areas (cities and towns) are highly polluted. This results from both rubbish dumped by individuals and legally or illegally dangerous chemicals dumped by manufacturing industries, health centres, schools and markets.
CONSEQUENCE OF WATER POLLUTION IN ANIMALS
The main problem caused by water contamination is that it kills organisms that depend on these bodies of water. Fish, crabs, birds and seagulls, dolphins and many other animals often end up on the beaches, killed by pollutants in their habitat (living environment).
CONSEQUENCE OF CONTAMINATION IN THE FOOD CHAIN
Water contamination also often disrupts the natural food chain. In this way, contaminants such as lead and cadmium are eaten by small animals. Later, these animals are consumed by fish and shellfish. Thus, the food chain continues to be altered at all higher levels.
CONSEQUENCE OF POLLUTION IN HUMANS
Eventually, humans are also affected by this process. People can get diseases like hepatitis by eating seafood that has been poisoned. In many developing nations, cholera outbreaks and diseases are always available due to poor drinking water treatment in contaminated water.
CONSEQUENCE OF POLLUTION IN ECOSYSTEMS
Ecosystems (the interaction of living things in one place, depending on each other for life) can be severely altered or destroyed by water pollution. Many areas are being affected by neglected human pollution, and this pollution is hurting humans again in many ways.
WATER POLLUTION: HOW IT CAN BE REDUCED
It is clear that after all the above, the water suffers from several factors that result in its contaminated state. Although each time regulations are applied so that the above does not happen, we can list some keys that reduce and even avoid water pollution in general.
First of all, we can say that to reduce pollution, purify the contaminated water that we reject or reject industries. That’s why since the 1980s, many wastewater treatment plants have been built around the world, both for cities and for industries and farms.
Significant progress has been made with this action. But there is still much to be done as you must find the system that allows wastewater to be cleaned more and better. Besides, some waste may be sources of water contamination.
For example, all DIY products, such as varnishes, paints, adhesives, used oils, are used in small quantities by a large number of people. These toxic wastes are not always collected or treated as they should and are disposed of directly.
As for farmers, they are aware of the problems they are doing to change their methods. For this, they must:
- Better store your manure,
- Use fewer fertilizers,
- Take many precautions when using pesticides and insecticides and respect dosages.
Besides, we can take sides ourselves by doing the following:
- Do not waste expired drugs in sinks or toilets, but return them to the pharmacy.
- Don’t waste the remains of DIY products either.
- In-home maintenance, it is important that you recycle, for example, the oil with which you cook and not throw it down the sink.
- Also, do not leave the trash or the packaging of dangerous products along watercourses or lakes.
Now there are also cleaning and DIY products that contain fewer toxic elements, and sometimes they don’t even do. They often cost a little more than others but reduce pollution not only of water but also of the entire environment.
SOLUTIONS TO CURB WATER POLLUTION
What are the solutions to curb water pollution? Many and very varied. Some depend on national administrations, others on local governments and some on citizens. We must all provide solutions to curb water pollution before it is too late.
PLANTING TREES ON THE BANKS
It is a simple measure that helps conserve the water, fauna and flora of the area. By the way, it prevents erosion and maintains natural depth.
UNIVERSAL DRINKING WATER
Bringing drinking water around the world by 2030 would prevent the contamination of a lot of water. If she’s going to drink, many people would think about it before they hurt her.
INDUSTRY CONTROL AND LEGISLATION
Administrations should regulate the polluting practices of some industries. The objective is clear: to protect a natural resource such as water. To do this, less toxic products that produce the same result should be boosted.
Traffic remains the great polluting problem of the 21st century. If we opt for sustainable transport, we will be on the road to reducing water pollution in our area. If millions of people add up, the reduction will be massive. The use of fossil fuels is highly harmful. On the other hand, using a bike on urban journeys saves up to 100 times greater than using a car.
CHEMICALS IN PESTICIDES
Pesticides, biostimulants or elicitors must reduce the number of contaminants they contain. They are products that try to avoid pests but that end up being worse than the pests themselves.
It is undeniable that water spill control is a worldwide priority. Million-dollar fines, jail terms and business closures should be measures against companies that do so. It’s about choosing whether or not to have a future as a species. Future that depends entirely on water.
Wastewater should be contained and stored as far as possible. Not only that, but you should also control the use that is made of that water.
Forests around the world are a must-have natural water warehouse both for the atmosphere and in the subsoil. If we cut down the planet’s large forests, freshwater reserves will be significantly reduced. Besides, we end up with an unmatched natural scrubber filter.
Everything we can recycle will be a step forward. Everyone at home has to do their job. In this case, sorting the waste well.
Plastic is one of the most damaging elements of water worldwide. It’s a material that takes centuries to degrade. Aquifers from all over the world, even in abyssal pits, already have plastics in their environment. If we stop using them, we will contribute our grain of sand to reduce water pollution.